As we are about to enter 2014 with the economy of our nation suffering, what is our Congress' plan for solving it? Will Congress act on many of the other issues needed by the average citizen?
First, they are planning on being in session the least number of days in recent history, thus showing either they have no idea on how to get us out of this mess they created, or they really don't care.
Second, their idea of getting us back on track appears to be simple -- cut programs that benefit their constituents and with those savings increase programs benefiting their benefactors with a bottom line of overall not saving much.
Historically the United States of America has given a helping hand to those in need throughout the world. This "helping hand" is currently being withdrawn to our elderly, sickly, and impoverished as cuts to programs such as food stamps, unemployment, education, social security, Medicaid/Medicare, and others are either being enacted upon or being considered.
Meanwhile, as the "helping hand" is being withdrawn it is being closed to form a fist as illegal invasions of foreign nations persist and new ones are being planned with the cuts to our citizens in need subsidizing these illegalities. As we have discovered you cannot earn respect by "buying" it, we have apparently gone to trying to gain respect through bombs and threats. Although the Power Elite has used the Hitlerian method of overthrowing a nation, they have failed to learn how he lost in the end. No matter how strong you think your military is, against the rest of the world you are weak.
Third, our illustrious Congress has voted on a sequester plan that has cut the pay of millions. At the same time they work fewer days than previous congresses while receiving more pay and expenses. For example in August and September of 2013 they were away for 6 weeks! In salaries alone this cost the taxpayer over $10,000,000.00, for which they received nothing. In 2014 they have scheduled a mere 114 days to work leaving 146 days the taxpayer receives nothing, but will spend over $52,000,000.00 in salaries. One might ask, "If sequestering federal employees saves dollars, why not sequester members of Congress as they apparently do not see the need to work 146 days in the upcoming year?" As the majority of these individuals are already millionaires this would not hamper their day-to-day life nearly as much as the federal employee who has been sequestered, yet would be a savings to our strained federal budget. Besides, most receive more than the $97,674 cut from the likes of the Koch boys, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Peter G. Peterson, or a host of other 1%ers who have bought these individuals.
As though their slashing programs that benefit average citizens is not enough our Congress continues to ignore issues that would actually do what government has been established to do -- protect. Congress ignores issues such as protecting citizens against financial systems. We presently have banks, who receive money at 0% interest, charging 30% on credit cards. On top of that should a payer be 1 day late in making a payment an additional $35 - $50 is charged! These amounts would have put them in prison in the past as they would have been called "Loan Sharks".
Another area Congress has done nothing in protecting citizens is their lack of action on the expanding slaying of people by guns even though we continue to hear of gun slayings daily in major cities throughout our nation and increasing school shootings. The silence from Congress is puzzling in view of their reaction a number of years ago when a goon was discovered with a shoe bomb whereby Congress demanded all passengers had to remove their shoes prior to boarding a plane.
Now I am not one who advocates taking guns away from the majority of gun owners, those who use them for hunting, target shooting, collecting, and the like, but I am against being able to carry them concealed in public. This practice, at best, instills paranoia, which is an abnormal mental state. In defense of being able to carry I was once told that it was necessary as there are a lot of "crazies" out there. This may be true, but the "crazies" are those carrying, and that is the problem. If one carries out of fear might that not be a paranoid reaction?
Something must be done to reduce the increasing number of deaths to citizens due to guns. Australia had the same problem some 20 years ago and their Parliament took action. The result is there have been zero mass slayings since they acted and people still possess guns, just not those who shouldn't.
We also are experiencing the diminishing wages of our working people. This has been happening over the course of 40+ years. It's hard to imagine we have a minimum wage that is not close to a living wage, yet Congress continues to do little but wag their tongues in hopes their talk will gain them votes. Presently, the salaries of members of the House and Senate also affect the Supreme Court and other senior members of government. Maybe our nation's economy would be benefited should the minimum wage be tied to the salaries of Congress. This would eliminate the once-in-a-decade discussion to raise the minimum wage as if Congress feels they need an increase due to the cost of living wouldn't it stand their constituents do as well?
Isn't it time those who we vote to represent us begin to actually do that -- represent US? Since Reagan we have not only not been represented but have actually been downgraded as a result of the various laws passed, or lack of laws passed.
Hopefully people will rise up and demand to be acknowledged by those who represent us in 2014.